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Ann Thorac Surg. 1992 Dec;54(6):1159-64.

Pleuropulmonary aspergilloma: clinical spectrum and results of surgical treatment.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital of Strasbourg, France.


From 1974 to 1991, 77 patients were admitted for pulmonary (55), pleural (16), or bronchial (6) aspergilloma. About 50% were asymptomatic. Sixty-three underwent operation. Pulmonary aspergillomas were operated on for therapeutic need in 26 and on principle in 18; the procedures were 28 lobar or segmental resections, 10 thoracoplasties, and 5 pleuropneumonectomies (1 patient had exploration only). Pleural aspergillosis was treated by operation on principle in 5 and for therapeutic need in 8 patients; 10 thoracoplasties, 1 attempt at pleuropneumonectomy, and 2 decortications were performed. All six bronchial lesions were operated on as a rule. Overall postoperative mortality was 9.5%. Major complications were bleeding (n = 37), pleural space problems (n = 24), respiratory failure (n = 6), and postpneumonectomy empyema (n = 4). All patients with pleural disease experienced complications. The outcome was better after lobar or segmental resection than after thoracoplasty (mortality, 6% versus 15%). Asymptomatic and nonsequellary pulmonary or bronchial aspergilloma also had an improved outcome. We conclude that operation is at low risk in pulmonary or bronchial locations in asymptomatic patients and in the absence of sequellae; the risk is high in symptomatic patients for whom operation is the only definite treatment. Pleuropneumonectomy should be avoided. Only symptomatic pleural aspergilloma should be operated on.

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